Development machines have access to the internet but production does not? I’m sure there is a reason, maybe this is an internal project of some sort.
I’m not 100% clear on the exact reasoning, but I think it’s mostly done out of a desire to maintain some level of control of the software running inside the company firewall (for reasons of security and compliance with copyright law), and to prevent reliance on external services for deployment of internal software (which is the more relevant part, from my perspective).
I think the primary motivation for the second reason (avoiding reliance on external services) is that my company often has to do maintenance on / manufacture parts for old equipment that we built 15+ years ago. In such a situation, it’s helpful to be able to resurrect any development tools we were using at the time we first built the equipment, and that might not be possible if the set up process for those tools was relying on external resources which no longer exist. (Maybe that’s not quite as relevant for a discussion board as for other tools, but nonetheless it’s still a factor.)
Or temporarily move your server outside your firewall (unlikely I am sure) but you have to have clear internet access to install via the docker method.
With the goals above in mind, I don’t think a work-around for giving production machines temporary internet access would be a suitable solution.
The easiest way that I can think of is that you generate the container on a more permissible environment. Then backup the docker image, and import it inside the more restrictive environment.
That’s possible, Docker images aren’t very easy to change compared to something like a Chef recipe though. From the standpoint of being able to maintain a Discourse server sometime in the far future without relying on external services, I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. I guess it is a possibility though.
Anyway, I’m probably just going to build the server out with Chef, since that seems like a more robust and flexible solution. Thanks for your help though.